10 Pictures to Discover Astypalaia – The Most Precious Greek Secret Island

I will tell you a secret. A secret only shared among Greeks and a few fortunate foreigners.

Greece has approximately 6000 islands and islets scattered in the Aegean and Ionian seas.

While Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, Rhodes and Corfu are a dream destination for many travellers, Greeks, particularly Athenians, avoid the crowded tourist hot spots and prefer to escape to quieter islands, off the beaten track.

When planning my trip to this country full of mythology this year, a little butterfly told me about Astypalaia. I had never heard about this place before, and I got very curious to learn more about this unknown Greek island.

Known as “The Butterfly of the Aegean Sea”, due to its shape, Astypalaia, Astipálaia or Astypalea is located exactly where the Dodecanese meet the Cyclades and combines elements of both island groups.

Having just returned home after spending 4 beautiful and relaxing days in Astypalea, I decided to select 10 of my favourite pictures to share my little secret with you.

Aerial view over Chora, Astipalaia, Greece

 Astypalea, Greece, in 10 Stunning Pictures

1 – Astypalea has the most gorgeous and picturesque Chora (old town) in the whole of Greece

It offers a picture-perfect scenery with lined windmills, whitewashed houses, blue-domed churches and a hilltop castle.

I fell in love with Astypalea as soon as I laid my eyes on its fairytale Chora!

Aerial view over Astypalea, Greece

2 – Throughout its centuries of history, Astypalia was inhabited by different civilisations which have left their mark on the island.

One of the most significant was the Venetians who occupied the island for nearly 300 years and built a Venetian castle in 1413 on the ruins of a Byzantine castle, which in turn was built on the ruins of the ancient acropolis.

Aerial view of the Venetian castle of Astypalea, Greece

3 – Venetians also left their influence on the cuisine.

While on the island, don’t miss the opportunity to savour the flavours of the delicious Astypalean pasta, it’s often served with saffron and cheese, as well as fresh seafood and other Greek delicacies.

Astypalean food served at Agoni Grammi Restaurant, Astypalea, Greece

4 – Astypalea boasts a semi-mountainous topography and is dotted with high rocks and hills.

The entire island has been designated as a Landscape of Outstanding Natural Beauty and you will understand why as soon as you arrive.

The semi-mountainous landscape of Astypalea, Greece

5 – Driving along Astypalea’s scenic roads is a feast for the eyes!

If you come here for the crystal-clear water beaches and the charming Chora, you will be in awe of the stunning landscape every turn you take.

Scenic road on Astypalea island, Greece

6 – The island has 110 km of coastline, and you will find serene pebbled and sandy beaches with crystalline blue and green water where you can unwind.

There are less than 1200 inhabitants in Astypalea and it doesn’t get crowded as other Greek islands during the high season. So, you don’t have to worry about finding a place in the sun. And if you go during the shoulder season, you might even have the beach all to yourself.

The crystal-clear water beaches of Astypalea, Greece

7 – And if you’re looking for unique beaches, Astypalea has it too. Just take a boat trip to Kounoupa Island, which features a strip of sand with one beach on each side. One of the rarest beaches in Greece!

Aerial view over Kounoupa Island, Astypalaia, Greece

8 – From sunrise to sunset, your days in Astypalea will be so relaxing and reinvigorating that they will melt your worries away, leaving you feeling rejuvenated and at peace.

If you don’t catch the sunset during your stay, it’s totally worthwhile getting out of bed early to watch the sunrise, especially if you can do it from your balcony.

Sunrise in Astypalaia- Greece

9 – Another nature splendour you will gasp in surprise is watching the full moon rise majestically behind the castle.

Full moon in Astipalaia, Greece

10 – A trip to Astypalea can be trully unforgettable! And if you want to make it even more memorable, book a room with a view in Chora. Waking up every single day with the view of the castle is magical.

Pericles Rosa siting on a swing chair at Anatoli Luxury Studios and Suites, Astypalea, Greece

These are just 10 pictures to get a taste of Astypalea.

If you’ve been dreaming about visiting a Greek island that isn’t on the tourist radar and need a place to recharge your batteries peacefully, Astipálaia is the answer.

You will return home full of sweet moments and memories that you will treasure forever.

Safe travels and have fun in Greece.

I always recommend that you buy travel insurance! It can literally be your lifeline if something happens to you, or your luggage is lost or stolen.

10 Pictures to Discover Astypalaia – The Most Precious Greek Secret Island 1

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Planning a Trip to Astypalaia – Greece

Where’s Astypalea?

Astypalea is the fourth largest and westernmost island of the Dodecanese and it’s located 43 km from Kos, 178 km from Rhodes and 215 km from Piraeus (Athen’s most popular port).

How to get there?

You can get to Astypalea by ferry or plane.

By plane

There’s a small airport on the island located in the village of Maltezana, 9 km from the capital Chora.

There are direct flights with Sky Express departing from Athens. They cost an average of €100, one way, and last approximately 50min, but don’t run very regularly.

  • You can book your flights with Skyscanner, the website I use and trust.

By ferry

Astyapalia has two ports, the old port at Pera Gialos in Chora, and the port of Ag. Andrea, which is about 6 km from the capital.

A ferry from Athens takes approximately 10 hours. There are also ferries from other Dodecanese islands, like Rhodes and Kos, or Cycladic islands, such as Naxos and Amorgos.

If you’re in Europe, I recommend booking a flight to Kos and taking the 2h ferry to Astypalaia. If you’re outside of Europe, the cheapest way is flying to Athens, followed by a ferry to Astypalea.

  • Check ferry schedules and prices here.

How to get around?

You can get around Astypalea using public transport – there are electric minivans, AstyBus, that work on demand using a mobile app, as well as using a car/scooter/bike sharing.

I hired a car with Kyrannos Rent a Car and I was very satisfied with their service.

What’s the best time to visit Astypalaia?

Astyapalia has a Mediterranean climate with warm sunny summers and mild winters.

You can visit the island from May to October and you can expect comfortable weather, with average temperatures ranging from 20°C to 25°C.

The best time to visit Astypalea is at the end of May/beginning of June or in September. At these times, the island will have fewer tourists and you can get better prices on accommodations. Some beach restaurants might be closed though.

Where to stay?

I suggest spending at least three full days on the island and staying in Chora, which is centrally located.

I stayed four nights at the beautiful Anatoli Luxury Studios and Suites and I loved it. It has an excellent location, in the heart of Chora, and provides a striking view of the castle. My spacious studio was beautifully decorated, and the bed was very comfortable.

Where to eat?

The restaurants that I recommend are: Ageri and Agoni Grammi, in front of the windmills; Aiolos Pizza, at the port; and Astropelos, on Livadi Beach.

Travel Planning Resources For every booking made through my site I donate US$ 1 for a charitable organization. Safe travels ☺

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